Starting a daily art practice

My personal art practice often gets thrown by the wayside, caught between the day job and my own business. I always tell myself I'll work on something later... and later becomes next week. Before I know it, months go by and I haven't taken the time to work on anything that's just for me.
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So I've been looking at artists who practice a daily or weekly exercise. 
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A few years ago I came across Jennifer Orwin Lewis of August Wren and her amazing sketchbook project: for 30 minutes a day, she sets a timer and paints in her sketchbook. Once the time is up, she's done. I love the thought of setting a timer, I think that would be helpful. Her little paintings are so delightful, and it must be so satisfying to end up with a full, finished sketchbook. Check out her instagram account to see her daily paintings. Jennifer says, "It's about doing it for me and not about the outcome."
August Wren
*image credit: www.augustwren.com
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Lisa Congdon is the queen of goal setting. Her projects have ranged from 365 Days of Hand Lettering, where she illustrated a quote every day, to her most current goal which is Experiments in Blue. You can read more about her process for this goal here. I always go to Lisa's blog, Today is Going To Be Awesome, when I need a little pick-me-up.
Lisa Congdon
*image credit: www.lisacongdon.com
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Jen Hewett is a fellow textile printmaker in San Francisco. I've been following her work on instagram and I'm so amazed at what she can do in her tiny, 54 sq. ft studio! Recently she documented a new exercise called warm up stitches. "This work isn’t for a particular product or piece. I don’t intend to sell these pieces. Rather, like a sketchbook, my warmup stitches are a way for me to ease into the creative part of my workday, after I’ve responded to email for my day job and my creative work." She also has a great project called Print, Pattern, Sew where she sews a piece of clothing using her block-printed fabric.
Jen Hewett
*image credit: www.jenhewett.com
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Diana Sudyka, my favorite Chicago illustrator and friend, recently started a daily practice documenting nature around her in tiny paintings. She posts these on instagram and they are so lovely. 
Diana Sudyka
*image credit: www.dianasudyka.com
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Creating a small, daily window of scheduled creativity for myself is something I've wanted to do for a long time. My plans usually fall through because I get busy, or I'm tired after work, or I set such ridiculous parameters that it's too hard to follow (painting everyday for an hour is probably a bit unrealistic, for example). Getting too ambitious can be stressful (let's make a quilt!) It's easy to get discouraged and give up on the project, but these four artists have given me some new ideas for a manageable daily goal. 
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I'll keep you posted. :)
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May 05, 2016 by Sara Parker
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